BIRTHS Actor Don Johnson (Nash Bridges), 50, and his wife, Kelley, 31, welcomed Atherton Grace Johnson, a 7-pound, 15-ounce baby girl, Dec. 28, in San Francisco. It’s the couple’s first child. Johnson has two other children, Dakota, 10 (from his marriages to actress Melanie Griffith), and Jesse, 16 (from a previous relationship with actress Patti D’Arbanville).
SPLITS Melanie Gulzar (nee Brown, a.k.a. Scary Spice), 24, and her husband, dancer Jimmy Gulzar, 33, have separated after 16 months of marriage despite ”a considerable amount of discussion and attempts to make the relationship work,” according to a statement released by the couple. The two have a 10-month-old daughter, Phoenix…. Time Warner vice chairman Ted Turner, 61, and his wife, actress Jane Fonda, 62, married since December 1991, announced in a Jan. 4 statement that they are temporarily separating. ”While we continue to be committed to the long-term success of our marriage, we find ourselves at a juncture where we must each take some personal time for ourselves,” the couple said in a statement. ”Therefore, we have mutually decided to spend some time apart. We ask that you respect this decision.”
WINNERS That’s Bond…Sir James Bond. Former 007 Sean Connery, 69, was awarded a knighthood by Prime Minister Tony Blair in Britain’s New Year Honours List (announced Dec. 31), along with Virgin tycoon Richard Branson, 49, and Sony honcho Howard Stringer, 57. Brit-born actresses Elizabeth Taylor, 67, and Julie Andrews, 64, were made dames, and even the erstwhile Dr. Quinn, actress Jane Seymour, 48, became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Connery’s knighting had been refused by the British government two years ago, reputedly because of his support for Scottish independence.
ROBBED Actress Cameron Diaz (Any Given Sunday) was robbed of her passport and more than $7,000 after forgetting her bag in an X-ray machine at Los Angeles International Airport, Dec. 29, on her way to an undisclosed destination. The alleged thief, Mary Watkins, 36, an airport security employee, was arrested on grand theft charges and is out on bail. Police say that only part of the cash has been recovered. Diaz’s reps have no comment. Watkins could not be reached.
LAWSUITS Singer/songwriter John Fogerty, 54, has filed a suit alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duty against his former lawyer, Dec. 30, in L.A. In court papers, Fogerty, former lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival, claims that attorney Kenneth Sidle and his firm, Gipson, Hoffman & Pancione, failed to collect sufficient royalties from songs Fogerty wrote for and performed with Creedence from 1968 to ’72. The singer seeks more than $1.3 million in damages. Neither Sidle nor his firm have commented on the action.
DEALS Scratching yet more cash from that pile of sticks, Artisan Entertainment and Haxan Films announced Jan. 3 their plans for the filmic spawn of The Blair Witch Project, the $140 million-grossing summer horror surprise. The next installment, slated to start shooting in February, will be directed by documentarian Joe Berlinger (1992’s Brother’s Keeper), while the third, to be written and directed by the original BWPtandem of Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, will be a prequel exploring the legend of the Blair Witch in the 19th century. The films are planned for release this fall and summer 2001, respectively, and the budget for the films is expected to be between $7 million and $10 million (the first supposedly cost $100,000). The installments will depart from the original’s superkinetic visual style. ”The last thing we want to do are simple derivatives of the first Blair Witch,” says Artisan president Amir Malin. ”That would kill the franchise immediately.”